The Health Business Blog turns nine years old this month. Continuing a tradition I established with birthdays one, two, three, four, five, six, seven and eight I have picked out a favorite post from each month. Thanks for continuing to read the blog!
Initial estimates of the costs of the Affordable Care Act to small employers were severely overstated. A new analysis shows a typical Wendy’s will spend about $5000 per year extra, not $25,000 as had been feared.
There are several websites where consumers can see and post ratings of physicians. But the sites contain incomplete and sometimes misleading information. Some doctors are upset and going as far as suing for libel. In this post, I review the state of the sites.
HarvardPilgrim HealthCare is consistently ranked as best health plan in the US and was the first health plan to select transparency vendor Castlight Health to provide patient-specific price information. CEO Eric Schultz lets us in on what he’s up to next.
I don’t know how you feel, but I’m not confident that people who make a very good living from CT scans should be the ones to decide how much radiation is reasonable for patients to be exposed to.
Daily deal sites like Groupon are (or were) all the rage, so it’s no wonder that healthcare-specific sites have also popped up. These are interesting to talk about but have little real-life impact on the healthcare market. The Dallas based NPR station did a piece on one such site and quoted me. Later, the national Marketplace show picked up the story.
Progressive’s Flo sure is perky. The company has a Snapshot device that is mounted in policyholders’ cars to monitor how safe their driving is. It may seem far-fetched, but I expect the same philosophy to be carried over into healthcare eventually. Are you ready to have Flo monitor your eating, drinking, and sexual behaviors?
GSK has struggled with the manufacturing of the Advair inhaler for 15 years. But its woes are turning out to be a blessing in disguise because manufacturing has created an effect barrier to entry for generic challengers.
I’m all for good hand hygiene and for participatory medicine. But I really dislike the notion that patients have to be the ones to police the handwashing practices of doctors and nurses. I’ll do it if I have to, but it’s pathetic if the profession has to resort to this.
Reference pricing for medical procedures constrains costs by capping the amount an insurer will pay for a procedure and making the patient pay the extra amount. The Wall Street Journal would have us believe that the use of reference pricing is a great argument for free market approaches in healthcare. But if anything, it demonstrates the inadequacy of the private sector to take on cost control.
I was interviewed live on Real Money with Ali Velshi about what’s going wrong and right in the rollout of federal and state health insurance exchanges. He’s balder than I am.
It’s tempting to draw parallels between the legalization of gay marriage and legalization of marijuana and in fact, both are gaining ground rapidly. But there are serious differences. I predict we’ll look back on gay marriage and wonder why we took so long to legalize it, while we’ll look back on marijuana legalization and kick ourselves.
Massachusetts voters deserve a substantive, competitive campaign for Governor this year. I have decided to do my part to foster a productive debate by conducting one-on-one interviews with each of the nine candidates on health care issues. Most of the candidates are well known in the health care world but even those with non-health care backgrounds have studied the issues and have credible ideas.
Thanks again for another great year!March 28, 2014